Navi Pillay, in a statement, said she deeply regrets the execution of Humberto Leal Garcia, after a 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court denied him a stay of execution Thursday night.
“The execution of Mr. Leal Garcia places the U.S. in breach of international law,” said Pillay, who is on an official mission in Mexico. “What the state of Texas has done in this case is imputable in law to the U.S. and engages the United States’ international responsibility.”
Pillay said Leal was not granted consular access, which — as a foreign national — was his right under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
The denial of access raises concerns about whether Leal got a fair trial, Pillay said.
Leal was convicted of raping and killing a 16-year-old girl and was executed Thursday evening by lethal injection in Texas.
The case’s flurry of legal appeals and pleas for clemency were prompted by an international dispute over the rights of foreign-born Americans facing the death penalty.